More than 1,000 would-be first-time buyers have rushed to register interest in a new housing association shared-ownership scheme due to launch in south London in October. Camberwell Fields, by Notting Hill Housing, will offer 120 flats priced from £90,000.
The enthusiasm for this scheme is not just because of the dire shortage of affordable property in the capital, as recently highlighted by international estate agents Savills. It is also because Camberwell has become a property hotspot.
Vibrant locale: Camberwell Arms gastropub has received rave recent reviews.
The area is benefiting from being next door to well-placed Kennington and increasingly cool Peckham. New cafés have opened in Camberwell Church Street, while the arrival of the Camberwell Arms - sister venue to the Anchor & Hope at Waterloo - as well as more long-standing attractions such the South London Gallery, are boosting the district’s appeal.
The South London Gallery: a cornucopia of contemporary art in Peckham Road.
Another plus point is the location of Camberwell Fields on the south side of 113-acre Burgess Park, which recently had a multimillion-pound makeover and now boasts a fitness centre and a barbecue area, as well as cricket and tennis clubs.
Wendy Gordon, sales manager for shared-ownership homes at Notting Hill Housing, says: “I think Camberwell is an area that is coming on in leaps and bounds. Over the last couple of years it has become a really vibrant place, with loads of cafés and bars appealing to young buyers.”
For their £90,000, buyers will get a 25 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat. There are also two-bedroom apartments priced from £111,250, again for a quarter share. The first residents will be able to move in before the end of the year when other homes, including some with three bedrooms, will be launched at the scheme.
Addington Square: this beautiful Georgian and Regency garden square is popular with lunchtime office workers.
Of course, no development is perfect and the key downfall of Camberwell Fields is that the nearest station, Denmark Hill, is about a mile away. So that’s a 20-minute walk, but on the positive side, services are excellent, with trains to Victoria in nine minutes, to London Bridge in 21 minutes, and to King’s Cross in 20 minutes.
Camberwell’s shopping area looks a little dull and unloved. However, Southwark council is spearheading an £11 million regeneration project to give SE5 a facelift, including an upgrade of Camberwell Green and a new library. The work is due to finish by the end of next year. Southwark is also keen to limit the number of takeaways and introduce a 20mph speed limit to make the area more cycle and pedestrian friendly.